By Dr Wong Wee Nam
15 August 2012
I was shocked to hear the news of Christopher Neo’s sudden demise. It was only two weeks ago that I had lunch with him and Dr Elaine Chng at a coffee shop in Clementi. He was his usual cheerful self and certainly a picture of decent health. At that time, he told me that he was going to retire from politics. Who would have thought he would be going out in this manner?
I first met Chris when he was a very young man in 1996. He was very promising — a person with very good manners, very polite, extremely humble, a graduate from a British university, good looking, and he came from a family which had a road named after a relative. It was no wonder that when I introduced him to Dr Chng at that time, she took an instant liking to him.
By Dr Wong Wee Nam
02 August 2012
All adult Singapore citizens have learned to say the Pledge. However, a lot still cannot recite it with complete accuracy. Quite a good number do not really know what it means.
When asked what the Pledge means to us as citizens on this National Day, some say it means “one united people” or some variation of this, and others say “it’s about multi-racialism” or something about religious tolerance. So far, I have yet to hear someone saying that the Pledge is a solemn vow by the person reciting it to build a democratic society based on justice and equality.
To most people, the National Pledge seems to read something like this: “We, the citizens of Singapore pledge to be one united people, and live harmoniously with people of different races and religions, so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation.” This is vocabulary that has been ingrained in their minds in spite of having recited it for the 12 years when they were in school. No one remembers the vow to build a democratic society based on justice and equality.
The changes to the cabinet and the introduction of the new ministries by the Prime Minister (PM) are accompanied by little useful information but much public relations puff.
Statements like Singapore entering a “new phase of development”, the need to “strengthen our families”, and focusing on “building a cohesive and vibrant society” have been stock phrases that the PAP makes whenever it feels the need to assuage Singaporeans about its policies.
What Singaporeans want to hear are specifics on how the Government will reform its wrong-headed policy of allowing the sudden and massive increase of foreigners into this country. Making motherhood statements like promoting “harmonious communal relations” is meaningless and changes nothing in reality.
Written by Ng E-Jay
01 August 2012
The Media Literacy Council (MLC) which will be set up on 01 August 2012 is yet another attempt by the government to control and stifle dissenting voices on the internet. Far from promoting media literacy, the MLC will instead be promoting media illiteracy, which is what the ruling PAP has been promoting for the past 50 years.
Spearheaded by Media Development Authority (MDA) and chaired by Professor Tan Cheng Han from the National University of Singapore’s Law Faculty, the MLC said it aimed to “partner government bodies, private sector organisations, community groups and social media influencers to raise awareness of media literacy issues across all online and offline media platforms, and promote a safe, secure and civil media environment for all”.